Intel to tackle smartphone market with Motorola, Lenovo deals


11 Jan 2012

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Intel Smartphone Reference Design

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Intel announced deals with Lenovo and Motorola Mobility to release smartphones powered by Intel processors in the firm’s first move to enter the lucrative smartphone and tablet markets.

The smartphone processors market has been dominated by UK firm ARM, but Intel is aiming to compete with them with its Atom processors.

At Intel’s Consumer Electronics Show 2012 press conference in Las Vegas, the company showed off its Intel Smartphone Reference Design, which aims to reduce development time and costs for manufacturers. The design showed a phone with a 4.03-inch, high-resolution LCD screen and two cameras. One of these was an 8-megapixel camera which can capture 15 pictures in less than a second in burst mode.

Smartphone partnerships

Intel said it will enter a multi-year, multi-device strategic relationship with Motorola Mobility, which will see Motorola release Android smartphones and tablets using Intel Atom processors.

The combination of Intel’s processors and Motorola’s mobile devices aims to create products with a higher performance and a longer battery life.

Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini’s spoke about the Intel Atom processor Z2460, formerly called Medfield, which was designed for smartphones and tablets.

"When great silicon and software technology meets great mobile and design innovation, amazing things can happen," said Otellini.

"Our long-term relationship with Motorola Mobility will help accelerate Intel architecture into new mobile market segments.

“We expect the combination of our companies to break new ground and bring the very best of computing capabilities to smartphones and tablets, which in turn will help to create powerful, new experiences that connect and enrich people’s lives wherever they may be,” he said.

The devices, which will come as a result of this partnership, will be available in the second half of 2012 across Europe and the US.

Lenovo will also release a smartphone running the Intel Atom processor Z2460. The company revealed the Lenovo K800 smartphone, which runs on Android, aimed directly at the Chinese market.

Ultrabooks

Intel also spoke about the ultrabook category of PCs at CES 2012, which focuses on building powerful, yet portable, computers.

So far, more than 75 ultrabook systems have been announced across the industry and will ship this year.

Intel reiterated its commitment to improve this category, saying it will drive its growth with its third-generation Intel Core processors, codenamed Ivy Bridge, in 2012.

Dell’s vice-chairman of global operations and end-user computing solutions Jeff Clarke announced its first ultrabook, the XPS13, at Intel’s press conference. It’s powered by the Intel Core i7 processor and offers eight hours of battery life. It will be available from February onwards.